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sallysqueak

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PostSubject: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:39 am

I'm looking to put my 6 month old onto adult food (after recommendation from others on here, but feel free to give your opinion if you think otherwise!)

We got him last week, so I am new to owning this breed, although I have loved and wanted one for 20 years. He is 6 months old and absolutely lovely in every way.

One thing I am absolutely terrified of is him getting bloat. Can anyone recommend a good dry food to feed to avoid this? Also, I thought raised feeding bowls reduced the risk, but I've just read somewhere on the net that they are actually a risk factor! I'm confused!

I also thought that feeding just dry was a bad thing, but everyone on here seems to recommend a dry diet?

I don't particularly want to go into feeding the BARF diet, as I'm veggie and I hate dealing with meat! Plus I'm on slimming world and feel i spend too long in the kitchen already making my own meals! I just want a good quality complete food either dry or a mix of wet and dry suitable for him. I worry that putting him onto adult food may stunt his growth, but so many people are saying to do it.... Please can you all enlighten me!! I don't have a breeder to ask unfortunately with him being adopted at an older age, so I'm relying on the help of saint loving strangers! Vets don't seem to know what they're talking about with this breed and just tell you to feed iams large breed puppy for 24 months!

Thanks Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:15 am

Hi

Most people put their puppy onto Adult around 6mths of age. A dog will reach its programmed Genetic size/weight regardless, it may just take a little more time.

'Dry' complete food is what alot feed too, but i would not personally feed it 'Dry'. It needs to be pre soaked for at least 20 minutes before feeding. The swelling of the food needs to take place before its eaten. By adding water to it in the bowl, allows the food to swell outside the stomach. Feeding 'Dry' means there is a potential for the food to swell in the stomach, gas to build up, and bloat/GDV to occur.

Look for foods that do not have too much cereals, its the cereal that has the 'swell' factor!

Sadly there is no hard & fast way to 'avoid' it, & there is no food 'proven' to stop it happening either, but by being careful you can go along way. Some dogs/lines are just prone to getting it, despite all our efforts to avoid it happening.

I find Arden Grange or Royal Canin Giant Breed good for not swelling too much. Both foods I have used in the past, but we now feed mainly RAW.

Feeding raised or on the floor - Again, no evidence to show either way that this alleviates it any better. We feed some raised & some on the floor, have for years, neither seems to have any benefit over the other.

If your dog is a fast eater, you can place some large pebbles (not small enough for them to be swallowed!), or a big chain in the bottom of the feeding bowl & scatter the food around them, so the dog has to pick out the food, & not rush to eat, therefore taking in less air - another factor that could lead to bloat.

One thing that a few of us did think of is water temperature could also be a factor for bloat. When the weather is very cold, water can also become ice cold, whether its from the tap/fridge or in buckets outside. If the dog drinks this very cold/icy water the stomach could go into spasm/cramps, just like we do when we get brain freeze from ice-cream! We always take the edge off with a bit of hot water in their buckets, so its body temperature for them to drink .. we have done this now for many years.

Also, exercise - Never allow the dog to drink/eat straight after exercise. You must allow at least an hour before feeding & 2 hours after feeding for the food to digest.

Hope that helps you Very Happy


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sallysqueak

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PostSubject: Re: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:46 am

Wow - thanks for all that, it's really helped Smile

I think it does sound like a good idea to get him onto some adult food - everyone seems to be saying the same thing. I'll look into Arden Grange and Royal Canin and perhaps order it online... I've heard it can be much more cost effective that way.

Just been watching a video on the large breed dog rescue site about the junk which goes into a lot of commercial dog food and I have to say I am shocked!! Car engine oil! Antifreeze!! How do they get away with this?!

Anyway, I will spend a good amount of time researching this today, and I think the idea with the stones sounds like a good half way house to slowing him down while keeping him on the floor. I will have to get him a bigger bowl to fit some bigger stones in! He loves picking things up and carrying them around in his mouth. In the few days I've had him I've had to prize clothes pegs, tin foil, tennis balls and socks out of his mouth because I'm worried he will swallow them with him having such a big mouth! I've got so attached to him I'm just terrified of anything happening to him, it's like having a 3rd child! I've been waiting 20 years to have a dog like him and I want him to be with us as long as possible because he is just adorable and is my baby Smile

I've never heard of the water idea before, but it's all noted, I will start doing that too! It makes sense! He gets hiccups a lot, could this just be due to his fast eating? I worry with every little thing his stomach does because I know they are prone to this problem. I'm probably a bit paranoid!

One more thing I would love to know... can you recommend any companies which are good for lifetime insurance cover? I've been researching for 2 days now and so far AXA and Purely Pets are coming out the best... around £30 a month and £7000 a year vets fees covered. From what I can make out, there is no limit on each condition, just a limit on how much you can claim per year.

If anyone knows of anything better or has any experience with these companies I'd be very interested to know more. I want to get him insured ASAP as I know saints are prone to a lot of health problems and I don't want to be in a position where I cannot afford the best treatment for him should anything happen... my old GSD got cancer and it was an absolute nightmare, plus he was'nt insured at the time so it was a very stressful time Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:50 am

Have a look at www.LV.com they seem pretty good.

AVOID E&L (Equine & Livestock) or any that are underwritten by them ,,, Hideous to deal with!!

Hiccups, like us, occur if we eat too fast, so yes, that could be the problem.

Im sure i saw somewhere some bowls designed to slow dogs eating down, not sure if it was on here or the net somewhere ... worth a look to see if you can find them. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:59 am

Thanks - I'll take a look at LV and the bowls Smile

One last thing (sorry!) do you recommend adding any cod liver oil to his food to help look after his joints? My GSD had 'severe' hip dysplasia, although nothing ever came of it except for sometimes after a very long walk he would seem very slightly stiff in his back legs, so I would give him a cap of cod liver oil in his food. He lived to 10 and despite me thinking his hips would go one day after the damning report from the vet, they never let him down! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:01 am

Yes, you can give him some Cod Liver Oil .... Many do ..... or Glucosamine & Chondrotin for Joints also give a Vitamin C Tablet per day, around 500-1000mg. You cannot overdose on Vitamin C, what the body doesn't need, is excreted.
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PostSubject: Re: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:04 am

Ah ok - thank you! Smile Are all these just human versions of the stuff, or do they do pet versions?
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PostSubject: Re: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:06 am

We give Human Grade Vitamin C, as per my vet .. you can get Cod Liver oil for Pets, but its more expensive i think ... most of us use Human Grade, so its up to you really Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:21 am

Thanks so much for all your help Very Happy It's been a godsend... After all this time of oggling the breed from afar, I thought I knew everything there was to know, but nothing beats experience! Your dogs are gorgeous btw x
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PostSubject: Re: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:23 am

Aww thank you .... they are my life ...

Its a beautiful Breed, one that pulls my heartstrings every day .,.... we all need to continue learning ... no matter how long we have been owned by them, we never learn it all ;-) x
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PostSubject: Re: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:34 am

You're so right, they are beautiful inside and out. No other breed comes close to them for me. I still can't get over the excitement of being able to see and fuss a saint every single day! Before it was just looking at other peoples on the very rare occasion you saw one, going to shows and watching, wishing I could take one home with me but always having to go without. I feel VERY lucky to be able to share my life with a saint at last Very Happy Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:36 am

Are you coming to Crufts on Show day?
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PostSubject: Re: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:39 am

I've never been to crufts, when is it? I've been to a fair few USBC shows over the years.... a room full of saints! Like a dream come true! lol Very Happy Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:41 am

Saints will be shown on Saturday 10th March 2012 - we are 2nd in the ring i believe Very Happy

Crufts runs from 8-11th March at the NEC, Birmingham
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PostSubject: Re: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:44 am

Oo I will look into that! If I don't make it, good luck!!

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PostSubject: Re: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:45 pm

we feed fish4dogs food and salmon oil!!! we love it here!!!

cheri xxx
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PostSubject: Re: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:32 pm

I was looking at fish4dogs earlier after seeing it mentioned on here, do you feed the working dog or the 'finest complete' one? I thought working dog might be a bit high in energy for a lazy saint so wasnt sure!
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PostSubject: Re: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:33 pm

We tried Fish for dogs too, sadly my lot didnt do well on it at all, although i do know of some that do like it... i guess it comes down to each individual dog Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:39 pm

Oh dear, what did it do to them?

Has anyone got any experience of Bozita Original XL? I found it on zooplus

It sounds good, but why is it so cheap? scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:40 pm

On the other hand I've just seen its first ingredient is wheat, this needs to be avoided doesnt it?
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PostSubject: Re: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:38 pm

we feed the working large bite and all ours do really well on it ive also raised 20 odd pups on it without a problem.......... it suits them well and they grow steady

alot of the puppy owners still feed it and are getting on well

i cant recommend it enough to be honest- its a case of trying it and seeing for yourself the salmon oil makes coats look stunning!!!

cheri
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PostSubject: Re: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:28 pm

For me, my dogs coats went dull & they didnt gain weight, a few lost weight on it despite getting more of F4D than their normal food ... once i put them back onto their normal Arden Grange, everything changed in days ... & I didnt have to give any oil supplements, because the ingredients in the food were enough & the coats were fabulous ...... so for me F4D sadly didnt work Sad

Wheat, corn, maize etc should be avoided



Last edited by Lanebern on Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:29 pm

I recommend sainsburys insurance! Its about £40 a month for my Nellie and she gets £7500 PER condition which is really good.
I agree, E&L are hopeless, our last newfie was insured with them and they were the worst ever, would never ever go to them again.

Amy xx
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PostSubject: Re: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:11 pm

I have my pup insured with the green insurance company, not had to make a claim so dont know what tey are like to deal with but price was great £18 per month.

I currently feed raw but have tried many complete foods and found Arden Grange to be one of the best and for the quality the price is resonable.

Im sure you will find something that works for you though as Kathy said different Peolpe / dog like and do better on different foods.

Good luck with your new addition i look forward to hearing your stories.

Gina and the Gang x
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PostSubject: Re: Avoiding bloat/what to feed   Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:28 pm

Thanks to you all for your recommendations!

After even more hours of reading, I've finally gone with AXA for the insurance. They cover up to £7000 in vets fees per year and offer lifetime cover, which I really wanted. Only £32 a month too, so I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed the premiums stay reasonable in future!

With regards to the food, the one which keeps popping up on here (and I think I'm finally going to go for) is Arden Grange. Do I go for the adult or the adult large breed? I'm still a bit confused as this contains maize, but I can't seem to find the 'perfect' food with no cereals etc at all in for a reasonable price. AG looks much better in content than the puppy iams he is currently on anyway, infact I can't wait to get him off the stuff now I've seen what's in it!

So... which AG should I choose? He's just turned 7 months, so how much should I feed too? Should I just go by the weight/amount scale on the bag? He's about 40kg now.

Thanks again Very Happy
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